The essential guide to optimize your website before launch
Website Launch Checklist
Your website design is ready and you are ready to make it live online. Eager to showcase your new product or service to the world and the opportunities lying therein. Well, hold on your reins for a moment before you launch your website in order to get the maximum benefit
There are a couple of best practices to follow initially. This will not only help your website launch successfully without any technical glitch but also contribute towards getting higher rank on google in the long term.
Titles and Meta Tag
The titles and meta tags are HTML elements that provides search engines and visitors about the content of the given page of your website. These elements are placed as tags in the <head> section of a HTML document.
Title tag is considered as one of the most important ranking signal for on page optimization according to moz.
From SEO point of view it is beneficial to include your primary keyword in the title tag.
Another important point to check is that there are no duplicate title tags in your site.
Meta Description – The meta description is the short paragraph that describes the content of the page. Although google has stated that meta descriptions are NOT a ranking signal, it however influences the click through rate, which is a very important ranking factor.
Make sure you have unique meta description in every page of the site and is compelling and as relevant as possible to each of the site content.
The favicon also known as the website icon shows next to the page title on the address bar. Be sure that the browsers pick up the favicon all the time for the website by including the following in your HTML head element.
Proofread your website content as many times as possible. Share it with your team members to double check on spellings or any other grammatical mistakes. Many a times we see that there are a number of reputed websites with common misspellings that could have easily been rectified.
Install Google analytics
Google analytics lets you track the website traffic to your site. Analyse your day to day visitors to your site, their geographical location and a host of other metrics that helps you keep track and make informed decisions.
Google Webmaster Tool installation
Another important free tool from google. The google webmaster tool helps you identify issues with your site and also keep track of your day to day visitors and other metrics. Before you can access the data on the too, you need to complete the verification process.
Two important site settings to setup in google webmaster for improved SEO visibility
- Set up your geographical target country for the site.
- Set up the preferred domain in case you have HTTP or HTTPS version of the site
There are two forms of sitemap:
- HTML sitemap – Designed for the user to help them find content on the page.
- XML sitemap – Tells the search engine about the pages in the site and their relative important to each other.
Adding a sitemap.xml file helps search engines to easily index your site. You can generate site in wordpress through the sitemap plugin.
Make sure your robots.txt is SEO optimised. The robots.txt file basically allows the search engines to let them know which part of the website they should index. Absence of it will not stop the search engines from crawling and indexing but it is highly recommended.
An example format of the robots.txt is as follows.
Disallow: / wp-content/plugins
Make sure your site is enhanced for responsive design for enhanced visibility on different devices. As there are multiple devices available that includes mobiles, tablets and laptops with each having different screen sizes, it is imperative to have your site optimised accordingly to improving the user experience.
You can check your site’s mobile friendly test here.
Page speed is an important part of your website user experience and with google placing an important ranking factor every second counts in the site loading factor. Check out the common factors that may be affecting your site speed and try to minimise those. For eg. The images size can be reduced for faster loading, minify CSS , reduce the server response time, leveraging browser caching etc.
You can check out your website speed test here.
Always keep a copy of the final website that has been made for backup purposes. Do make sure that the passwords and other credentials are securely stored. It is always recommended to keep an updated copy of website every day or week depending on your requirements to avoid any data loss or spam attacks.